Digitally-driven travellers lead Viet Nam’s travel re-opening

Tuesday, May 05, 2020 10:15

Viet Nam’s global tourism ambitions should focus on China and short-haul trips in Asian markets, a recent survey recommends. — Photo courtesy of DAC

Viet Nam’s reopening of its domestic travel sector is expected to be replicated by focusing on short-haul Asian markets that will enhance its international tourism profile, according to a survey conducted by the hospitality consulting group, the C9 Hotelworks, and Delivering Asia Communications.

The country has effectively demonstrated a COVID-19 fighting model in Southeast Asia with a focus on the all-important driver of airlift demand.

The newly released survey of qualified travellers from first-tier cities in China by hospitality consulting group C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications was created to understand relevant overseas travel sentiment for the remainder of 2020, and to analyse demand for Chinese inbound tourism to Viet Nam.

Key points highlighted in the survey are that nearly half of the respondents want to travel abroad this year, with 45 per cent interested in travelling specifically to Viet Nam.

Moreover, post COVID-19 Chinese travellers are looking at more mainstream, well-known destinations with top Viet Nam picks being HCM City, Ha Noi, Nha Trang/Cam Ranh Bay and Ha Long Bay.

Speaking about the reopening of Vietnamese tourism, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director Bill Barnett said: “A post-crisis short-term ‘fear factor’ is expected for extended air travel which will be manifested in a preference for short-haul, door-to-door flights, which is a key opportunity for China outbound tourism to Viet Nam.”

“Of equal importance is to understand that, at the moment, and in the coming months, domestic travel and tourism will define the gradual recovery process. What is significant about the China Vietnam Survey is who the immediate post-crisis travellers are, and how hotels and tourism stakeholders can proactively meet their needs. We see a parallel trend in early travellers both domestically and from the China data, which pair up in a new tourism visitor profile,” said Barnett.

Putting the market insights to use is an important sentiment voiced by David Johnson, CEO of Delivering Asia Communications, who added that “a 360 degree view of the results from over 1,000 qualified respondents concludes that tourism for the remainder of the year will be heavily leveraged by younger travellers 20-29 years old who are increasingly placing an emphasis on booking hotels on digital platforms".

“Two other significant trends from our China research showed that aside from sightseeing and eating being key activities, nature moved up in preference, which could be a reaction to a post-crisis change in tourism values. Diving into accommodation preferences, the two ends of the price spectrum of budget/economy and five-star hotels drew the most positive responses from the Chinese surveyed,” he said.

One final takeaway from the survey is how younger travellers are reflected, with 81 per cent saying they would choose independent travel over group tours. This fact, coupled by younger Chinese booking travel digitally via WeChat and Fliggy, is a new twist in Viet Nam’s marketing to China inbound tourists. — VNS

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